New Renault Megane vs Seat Leon vs Vauxhall Astra
Renault's striking new Megane is designed to steal company car sales from the Seat Leon and Vauxhall Astra. We find out which is best...
What will they cost?
Company car drivers are the target audience here, so leasing costs and benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax bills are the priorities. On that note, the Astra impresses most; over three years it’ll cost a 40% taxpayer £331 less in salary sacrifices than the Leon, and £500 less than the Mégane. It’s also the cheapest to lease, costing £26 less a month than the Leon and £79 less than the Mégane. Over three years, that means the Leon costs £1000 more than the Astra, and the Mégane almost £3000 more.
Our real-world fuel economy tests show the Astra is cheapest at the pumps, too – but not by much. It averaged 56.3mpg, just ahead of the Leon’s 56.0mpg, although well clear of the Mégane’s 47.2mpg. As each car produces less than 100g/km of CO2, road tax is free, while servicing and insurance are all within a few hundreds of pounds of each other over three years.
If you’re a private buyer taking out a PCP deal, the Mégane is the cheapest. On a three-year deal, with a £2500 deposit and an annual mileage of 12,000, it costs £244 per month. The Leon will set you back £39 more, and the Astra £66 more.The Mégane also comes out on top for standard kit. Electric-folding door mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control and keyless entry are all standard. These things either cost extra or aren’t available on the other two, although all three cars come with 16in alloys, cruise control, air-con and steering wheel-mounted controls.
While all have been awarded a five-star crash rating by Euro NCAP, the Mégane has the most safety kit. It warns you if you stray out of your lane, shows the speed limit of the road you’re driving down on the dash and automatically dips the headlights at night. You can add these items to the Astra with a £795 safety pack, which also includes automatic emergency braking; the latter costs £250 on the Mégane. A similar safety pack is available for the Leon. It includes a tiredness monitor and lane departure warning but, disappointingly, not automatic emergency braking.